If I have pictures stored on DVDs, how long before they will degrade and what is the best medium for long term storage?

5 Answers

  • Lv 7
    2 months ago

    DVDs and CDs last about 5-10 years before degrading.

    there is a disc called M-Disc, that is supposed to last 1,000 years:


    they have DVD & BluRay discs, but require special drives to burn/read them.

    but you get what you pay for, right?

    beyond that, a decent hard drive is best. as long as you keep it in a climate controlled room (not a cold or hot storage room), it should last at least 100 years.

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    If you keep the discs safely stored in a dry and dust-free place, they will last forever. Otherwise, an external USB hard drive will go faster and store a ton more files.

  • David
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    In general, optical media is expected to be pretty reliable up to about 10 years, although the data can survive longer if the media is stored in perfect (laboratory) conditions.  Having said that, any single disk can fail at any time...even just a few minutes after you burn the data.  So if you are relying on DVD alone, it would be good to have two sets and to CHECK them (both sets) at least once a year to make sure that they can BOTH be read still.  (you can always burn a new set using a good set...unless both sets fail at the same time, which is unlikely)

    These days, your best bet for long term storage is probably the cloud.  Google drive offers space for free, and you can buy more space for a small monthly fee.

    If I was REALLY paranoid, I would burn a set of DVDs, upload the DVD *images* to google drive or another cloud service, and then use the images to burn a new set of DVDs every year.  This would be the way to confirm both sets of backup files.  If something happens to the cloud copy, you still have the DVDs.  If something happens to the DVDs, re-create them from images stored in the cloud.  Off-site storage (cloud) is relatively fire-proof and natural disaster proof.

  • 2 months ago

    There is a variety of DVD that uses metal instead of organic dye.  They're called M-Disk.  M-Disk stands for 'Millennial Disk' because they're supposed to last for 1000 years.

    The problems are (1) they're really expensive!  And (2) you need a special disk drive to write them, though they can be read on almost any DVD drive.


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  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    They should be fine as long as kept in good condition. Only other best way is move them from DVDs to Flash Drive then can pop it in computer or dvd player or blu ray player or even tvs today and play the movies

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